20 February 2014

NCI and Portland’s Placemaking

Why is NCI located in Portland, Oregon? What it comes down to it, we just love this place. Some of us have been in Portland for over 20 years now and it just keeps getting better. Somehow, the people of Portland have maintained an evolving collective vision for what this place is, and importantly what it is not. Local decision makers and planners have made solid urban placemaking choices over the years and now Portland is recognized as one of the most sustainable, walkable and bikeable U.S. cities.

Here’s a little history. Before there was a NCI, founders Bill Lennertz, Steve Coyle and Aarin Lutzenhiser played a role in the planning of Portland neighborhoods. Among the many project that the firm Lennertz Coyle & Associates (LCA) led, was the APA award winning Hollywood and Sandy Plan charrette. During a 6-day charrette in 1997, which included NCI board member and faculty Marcy McInelly of Urbsworks, the Portland Bureau of Planning and LCA drafted the plan that now guides the resurgence of the Hollywood District as a neighborhood transit center. Three years later, the experience from that any many other charrettes formed the foundation for the development of the first NCI courses.

We welcome you to visit our fair city this March 10 – 14 to gain your NCI Charrette System™ certificates and to see what everyone is talking about when they say that you have to see Portland. We’ll show you a good time! The training is located at the downtown office of CH2M HILL, across the street from a major food cart pod and a couple of blocks from the streetcar line. You can now travel Portland’s East and West sides on the streetcar. See the nearly completed cable stay bridge that will take light rail, streetcar, bikes, buses and pedestrians (no cars!) across the wide Willamette River. Sample the best coffee, beer and eateries regularly featured in the New York Times and Bon Appétit. Then stay for the weekend, do some spring skiing and/or tour the Oregon coast. See training registration details here and let us know if we can help you plan your trip.